Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NASCAR and Goodyear's Brickyard Fiasco

All my readers know that I am a huge NASCAR fan so you may be surprised to hear my comments on last Sunday’s Brickyard 400. To put it mildly, it was a debacle and I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Goodyear.

The Brickyard is known for the abrasive nature of its track but give me a break! Thousands of races have been run there, never with the result we witnessed Sunday. The track is usually rubbered-in as a race progresses, resulting in lessened tire wear. This didn’t happen Sunday because the Goodyear rubber compound simply blew away like so much dust in the wind instead of sticking to the track as it should have.

To compensate for the tire problem, NASCAR called a competition yellow about every ten laps or so. What ensued was a bunch of race cars lapping the Brickyard at about fifty miles and hour while half a dozen addled race announcers tried desperately and without much success to keep up the buzz, at least when there wasn’t a commercial running. The resulting race, the second most important race on the entire NASCAR circuit, was boring with a capital B.

The flubbed race Sunday rests solely on the shoulders of Goodyear. The tire company mixed up a bad batch of rubber with which to make the tires and NASCAR compounded the mistake by allowing almost no tire testing.

I’m not sure of this but I think the Hendrick group was one of the only teams allowed to test the tires on the track. They responded in the race by being the only team to change four tires on every stop - and they won the race. Did they know something the other teams didn’t know? Did they benefit from this knowledge? Hmm!

Goodyear should have to repay every loyal NASCAR fan that paid hard-earned money to watch a carnival sideshow that didn’t even hire a clown to lighten the situation. Hey, and I think we die-hard NASCAR fans also deserve an apology.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Origin of Sayings

I recently published an article titled Very Interesting Stuff that gave a brief and interesting history of the origin of certain sayings and names. It prompted a reply from my friend Dave Beatty from Livingston, Louisiana. Here is some more interesting stuff that he has uncovered:

Beatty’s More Origins

I read on you blog the origin of some commonly use phrases and thought you might like to ‘learn’ about some more. I say learn because with all of the internet sites, anyone can go to them and learn the origin of almost any saying. The sayings listed below are the ones I remember and learned in my many travels and did not ‘learn’ by just going to some web site. I think this is the way sayings should be passed on thought time, and not from web site to web site. I hope you enjoy and you might just learn one or two new ones.

“So cold that it will freeze the balls off a brass monkey“

As the story goes, in old sailing days, war ships would stack the iron cannon balls in a pyramid held at the base by a ring. This ring was/is made of brass and called a monkey. As it got colder, the brass would contract more than the iron balls did and the pyramid of cannon balls would fall ‘off the brass monkey”.

At a dinner party someone says “A toast” to or for whatever, and every one will lift their glass and touch them together with each other glass at the table.

As the story goes, in the old days the preferred method of killing your enemies was to invite them to a dinner party and poison them. To make sure that no one was being poisoned, it became the practice to have everyone at the table to pour a little wine from their glass into each and every one else’s glass. Therefore everyone was drinking the same wine.

The military salute:

This practice is reported to be based on the practice of knights of old raising their face shield to show their face as they approach each other on the road. As to say, look at my face, I’m a friend.

There are several more that I have learned over the years but they will come later, when I can remember them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shrouded Promises - a short story

Lust, self-deceit, a single young mother and her two-timing boss. Add in a snowstorm, a party, a spurned suitor and a white rabbit. Mix well and you have a recipe for promises never kept, or maybe never made.


With gentle hands, Leslie Scott clutched the arms of Howard Pike's big leather chair. Pike was late, and welling tears revealed Leslie's gloom, blue and red neon pulsating through the open window as she imagined footsteps at the door. She longed for Howard's contagious smile and booming voice but knew in her heart he wasn't going to show. She continued to wait anyway.
Snow was falling in sooty clumps on the sidewalk when Leslie remembered brave little Billy, waiting alone for his mother to return home and cook supper. Having no more time for tears, she grabbed her coat and started for the door just as Howard's phone rang. Leslie answered in a rush.
"Pike and Scull."
"Leslie. Why are you working so late?"
"Carla, is that you?"
"Yes, dear is Howard there?"
"Gone for the day."
"That rat. I wanted to remind him about the party tonight."
"Sorry, Carla. I'm the only one here."
"Poor dear, why don't you turn off your computer and come to the party?"
"Oh, I really couldn't."
"Sure you can. Bern is here and Howard will show up before the night is over. You know how lively things get when those two party together. "Anyway, there's someone here I'd like you to meet."
"I don't have a sitter."
"Find one, Darling." Carla hung up the phone.
Leslie stared at the dead receiver. Maybe Mildred, the janitor's wife, would watch Billy for her. After finding Mildred alone in her one-room basement hovel, she gave the slovenly old woman half of her remaining weekly wages to sit with Billy. Forcing the guilt from her mind, she changed into her best blue party dress as Billy finished the half-cold hamburger purchased on her way home.
No buses traversed the Scull's fashionable neighborhood, so Leslie took a cab she could little afford. Waiting on the front porch, shawl pulled tightly around her neck, she listened as
violins created a beautiful melody, just beyond the door, feeling very much like an uninvited intruder. Blocking the entrance as if she were, the maid frowned when she opened the door.
"May I help you?"
"I'm Leslie Scott. The Scull's invited me."
"May I see your invitation?"
A woman in a thin party dress tapped the maid's shoulder, then stood shivering, her arms hugged tightly to her chest. "Leslie's my special guest, Margaret." Margaret nodded and disappeared into the house. "Leslie," she said, touching the younger woman's shoulder. "Come in. Don't mind Margaret."
Instantly immersed in the noisy party going on around her, Leslie followed her into the house. Carla hurried through the crowd, grabbing champagne for herself and Leslie from a passing waiter.
"I simply must discuss something with you, Les," she said, leading her to an upstairs bedroom.
Leslie asked, "Have you seen Howard?"
Lighting a cigarette, Carla only stared. Leslie noticed her faded green eyes, strangely incongruous with her short-cropped, bleached hair, but somehow complementary to her anorexic figure and pale complexion. Raising her chin, she blew a wisp of smoke toward the ceiling.
"You look lovely Leslie, but you really should do something about your wardrobe. Baby blue isn't your color."
Leslie ignored her remark. "Your party's lovely, Carla. What did you want to talk to me about?"
Still staring, Carla said, "You should see my hairdresser. You're lovely, but there's so much he could add."
"Carla --”
"Sorry Dear."
Leslie felt uneasy, forehead flushing and a red flush spreading down her face as Carla eyed her like a butcher sizing up a cut of beef. Carla finally asked, "Are you warm, Dear?"
"I’m fine."
"Maybe, but your tits just turned the color of a boiled lobster."
Leslie put her hand over her plunging neckline, smiling weakly when she realized Carla's joke. Carla continued, unabashed, to stare, finally turning, puffing the cigarette as she gazed listlessly out the window.
"There's someone I want you to meet," Carla said.
"But --"
"My brother Joe. He's young and has a law degree. Most important, he's single."
Carla glanced around for an ashtray. Finding none, she deposited the butt into a vase and sat her empty champagne glass carelessly on the dresser. Grabbing Leslie's hand, she led her from the door. At the base of the stairs, they found Carla's husband Bern with an attractive middle-aged blonde woman. Leslie saw him touch the woman's leg, but Carla didn't. Pinching her smiling confidante before strutting away, the woman left Bern to peck Carla's cheek and plant a much too friendly kiss on Leslie.
Carla asked, "Who was she?"
Bern motioned a waiter for another drink. "Richard's - our banker's - wife."
Without commenting further on her husband's overly friendly companion, Carla also grabbed a fresh drink and asked, "Have you seen Joe?"
Bern pointed to the far wall. "Mr. Holier-than-thou is standing by himself in the corner."
"Come, Leslie," Carla ordered, dismissing her errant husband without another word.
As Leslie edged passed Bern on the stairs, he blatantly stroked her backside, causing her neck to flush. Pretending not to notice, she hurried after Carla.
"Joe, Darling," Carla said, embracing her younger brother. "Why aren't you mingling?"
With a shrug, the young man said, "Not my style, Carly."
Carla gave him the same visual once-over Leslie had received in the bedroom. Leslie sipped her champagne to avoid his embarrassing stare when the man's eyes caught hers.
"-- this is Leslie." Hearing the last part of Carla's sentence, she smiled, realizing she was being introduced. "Leslie, this is my handsome brother Joe."
Joe shook Leslie's hand, holding it a moment too long. Self-consciously, she pulled it away a bit too fast.
Carla edged away into the crowd. "Can you entertain this pretty-young-thing while I hobnob with the other guests?"
"My pleasure," Joe said.
Leslie glanced around the crowded room.
Joe asked, "Looking for someone?"
"Just seeing who's here."
"How do you know Carla?"
"Bern's my boss - and his partner Howard. You know Howard?"
"Is he here?"
"Haven't seen him, but I haven't done much mingling."
Again, Leslie glanced around the room, this time seeing Howard and his wife Cynthia enter the party through the front door. Margaret took their coats and they disappeared into another part of the house.
"If you'll excuse, me I have to go to the bathroom," Leslie said, barely glancing at Joe as she departed to find Howard.
Joe waited alone for ten minutes before abandoning his drink on a coffee table and starting after her. Halfway through the crowded room, he bumped into Howard Pike's wife Cynthia.
Cynthia draped her slender arms around his neck and said, "You weren't trying to avoid me were you, Joe?"
Unwinding her arms, Joe pushed her gently but firmly away. "How are you, Cyn?"
"Much better." Hiccupping, she grinned foolishly, hand at her mouth.
"I'm looking for someone," he said, moving away.
"Wait," she said, grabbing his elbow. "Another drink?"
Cynthia had already had more than one, but Joe asked, "What are you drinking?"
"You know what I drink."
With a drunken attempt at seduction, she kissed her fingers and touched them to his lips. Joe grabbed the wobbly woman's shoulders, maneuvering her against the wall for support. Then, shaking his head, he looked around for the nearest bartender.
"You all right, Cyn?"
Cynthia nodded, eyelids drooping. After patting her cheek, he started to the bar. When he handed Cynthia the fresh drink, she greedily savored it, the half swallow of straight scotch reviving her. When she answered, her words were slurred.
"Who are you looking for?"
"One of your wonderful husband's employee's."
Confused, Joe's eyes narrowed inquisitively and he asked,
"How did you know?"
"Wives know. Besides, she found us when we got here, wanting to discuss company business with Howard."
"Company business?"
"Funny business is more like it." Draining her scotch, she pleaded, "One more, Joe?"
Again, Joe took Cynthia's glass, her words playing through his mind as he returned to the bar to refresh her drink.
When he returned, he asked, "Where did they go?"
"Probably to the nearest toilet with a lock on the door."
Grinning impishly, Cynthia explained. "That's where he made love to me the first time - at a New Year's party, both of us butt-naked on a toilet seat."
"You're incorrigible, Cyn."
"Maybe," she said, putting her arm around his waist and hugging him to her delicate breasts. "It was fun. Let's find a bathroom so I can relive old memories."
"Why don't you just browse through some photo albums," he said, backing away.
"The photos I'd like to see are in your apartment."
Joe winked and started through the crowd as Cynthia finished her drink and wobbled to the bar for another. True to Cynthia's prediction, Howard and Leslie had found a secluded upstairs bathroom. Leslie sat on the toilet stool, skirt hiked to her thighs and pantyhose rolled down around her ankles. Her unbuttoned blouse revealed an ample expanse of bosom radiating an embarrassed shade of pink. Howard stood primping in front of the mirror.
"Please come home with me, Howard."
"Can't," he said his voice booming and distinctive. "I have business."
Leslie watched him comb his hair and preen his mustache with his little finger. "You haven't seen Billy in a week."
"Busy, busy," he said, turning around. "Besides, we've already made love."
Averting her gaze, Leslie stared sullenly at the tile floor. "When are you going to tell Cynthia about us?"
Caressing her bare breast, Howard bent forward and kissed her full on the mouth.
Howard patted her head like a pet dog and opened the bathroom door.
"Howard, wait."
"Gotta go."
Without bothering to close the door, Howard hurried away. Leslie shut and locked the door, then stumbled to the mirror. Hair a mess and dress torn and mauled, she began to cry.
Joe searched the party for Leslie with no success, soon completing the loop and finding the intoxicated Cynthia propped against the same wall where he had left her. Spotting him, she held up her empty drink glass.
"Please, daddy. One more."
Nodding, Joe returned with a fresh scotch for her and a tall bourbon for himself. With one hand on his shoulder for support, she tapped his glass and choked down everything but the ice.
"Drinking away your troubles, Darling?"
Joe glanced over his shoulder as Carla Scull approached through the crowded room.
Cynthia said, "You don't have enough booze for that."
"Someone knocking my booze?" Bern Scull said, appearing through the crowd behind Carla. From his wobbly gait, Bern was also suffering from alcoholic indulgence.
"Bern, baby," Cynthia said. "I wondered where you were."
Bern laughed, stumbled to Cynthia's side and grabbed her by the waist. Both leaned against the wall for support.
Carla ignored their obvious groping and asked, "Where is Leslie."
"The bathroom," Joe said.
"There she is," Bern said, pulling away from Cynthia and pointing.
Joe saw her, moving aimlessly through the crowded room.
"Leslie, over here."
In a haze, Leslie drifted toward them without a smile, or look of recognition.
"Leslie," he said, taking her hand.
Suddenly smiling at everyone as if in a trance Leslie looked at Joe and asked, "Can I have a sip of your drink?"
Joe handed her the drink laced with extra ice and she thrust it to her lips with both hands.
Bern, again, pulled Cynthia toward him, asking, "Where's that no good partner of mine?"
"Haven't seen him," she said, numbly.
"He left the party with Jim O'Brien and his long-legged, puff-brained secretary,” Carla answered.
Leslie's body stiffened. Her hands trembled and she dropped the glass. It exploded into flying ice and shards of crystal against the hardwood floor. Leslie sank to her knees to pick up the mess but Joe touched her shoulders and held her.
"No harm," Bern said, waving across the room for Margaret. "Let’s go to the living room."
Without waiting, Carla, Bern, and Cynthia walked away. Joe helped Leslie to her feet.
"Don't worry," he said. "Carla will never miss it."
"I have to make a phone call."
Joe pointed, through the crowd, at a closed door. "There's a phone in the den. I'll show you."
After leading Leslie to the empty den, Joe switched on the lamp beside the couch and handed her the phone. When no one answered, she put her finger on the button and dialed another number.
"Calling for a taxi?"
Taking the receiver from her, Joe said, "My car is outside. I'll take you home."
Remembering she'd spent her last five dollars getting to the party, Leslie accepted his offer but remained passively silent during their icy trip to her apartment. Joe walked her to the door, watching her shiver as she fished in her purse for the keys. After opening the door a crack, she took his hand.
"Thank you," she said.
Slipping inside, Leslie shut the door behind her, leaving Joe to briefly stare at the peeling paint before starting back down the icy sidewalk. Before he reached the car, raspy hinges creaked behind him and the door opened once again. Leslie called to him, as if in shock.
"Wait. I need your help."
Disturbed by Leslie's voice, Joe returned up the walk and followed her into the squalid, cold-water flat, watching as she shook an incognizant old woman, lying on the couch.
Leslie demanded, "Where is Billy?"
After snorting loudly and rolling over, the old woman covered her head with her arm and dropped an empty bottle to the floor. It dribbled whiskey on the threadbare rug. Leslie's impassioned question went unanswered and she glanced up at Joe, tears forming in her eyes.
"Billy's gone!"
Hurrying back outside, Joe searched the shadow-cloaked sidewalk which was faintly illuminated by the feeble light of the porch lamp. "I see some footprints in the snow."
Pushing past him, Leslie ran through the ankle-deep mire,
still wearing her baby-blue party dress. Joe stalked the tiny footprints by the light of the full moon. Before reaching the surrounding chain-link fence, the flat ground around the apartment sloped suddenly downward. There they found Billy, foot caught beneath the wire. After releasing his foot, Leslie hugged him to her breast.
"Mommy," he said weakly. "I slid down the hill."
Draping his coat around the boy, Joe helped them back up the slope. Returning to the warmth of Leslie's apartment, they got Billy out of his wet clothes, dried him off and warmed him up, and soon learned he was more frightened than hurt.
Leslie knelt beside his bed, holding his hand, and asked, "Why did you go outside?"
"I saw a white rabbit through the window and chased him."
Granting them a moment of privacy, Joe vacated the bedroom and woke Mildred, still asleep on the couch. After ushering her out the front door, he poured a glass of water from the rusty kitchen tap as the ripple of soft fabric behind him interrupted his thoughts. It was Leslie, watching him from the bedroom doorway.
He asked, "Billy all right?"
Leslie started to answer but hesitated. Hearing the metallic rattle of keys in the lock, she wheeled around with startled disbelief. As Howard Pike opened the door and entered, eyes unfocused and dilated, she smiled weakly and her lower lip began to tremble.
Unmindful of Joe's presence, Pike removed his overcoat and went to Leslie, drifting forward in a drunken, exaggerated gait. Twirling her once in the air, he let her slide slowly through his arms to the floor. Joe waited for Leslie's negative reaction. Instead, her trembling lip magnified her smile. Enraptured by Pike's sudden appearance, she wrapped her willowy arms around his ruddy neck.
Feeling suddenly like an unwelcome voyeur as painful reality encompassed his soul, he watched Leslie unbutton Pike's shirt and cover his bare chest with passionate kisses. Opening the front door he stepped out into the cold then turned for one last look before plodding away through the snow.
Bathed in dim light filtering from the single remaining bare bulb in a corroded light fixture on the ceiling, Leslie's brown eyes registered some indeterminate emotion far beyond Joe's ability to fathom.
Blinking away his confusion, he backed slowly away and shut the door behind him. Two steps from the door he began whistling a broken tune. Without looking back he trudged through the snow to his car and drove away.


All of Eric's books are available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and on his iBook author pages, and his Website.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Last Tango in Heidelberg

The results of my recent yearly physical showed two adverse things: my cholesterol is high and my blood sugar is elevated. While I’m not diabetic I am moving in that direction. I was told to start eating like a diabetic or else become one.

I began assessing my diet but didn’t have to go far to discover at least one major reason for my condition. The culprit is beer. I love the beverage and not just the light American variety. My favorites are darks and ambers, most with the consistency of highly refined motor oil. The problem is they are all loaded with carbohydrates.

It’s hard to believe that one little beer can cause major health problems but for a person with a tendency toward obesity and an exercise ethic that consists of little more than walking from the dinner table to the computer screen, it can become a death threat, especially if you drink several six-packs, or more, every week.

I haven’t drunk a beer since last Wednesday and the regimen is beginning to play havoc with my writing. Why? I can’t think of anything else except quaffing a pint of Bass or Beck’s, or one of the many wonderful American brews such as Anchor Steam or Full Sail. Sorry if I didn’t mention your favorite brewski as - in good Oklahoma and Will Rogers fashion - I personally never met a beer I didn’t like.

For all my faithful readers out there I don’t mean to make light of a serious health problem. The possibility of becoming diabetic frightens me to death and I intend to deal with it. I guess I’ll just have to start making do with a shot glass of Guinness once every week or so.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Boggy Creek Monster

I grew up about thirty miles from Fouke, Arkansas, the location of the 1960’s and 1970’s sightings of the infamous Boggy Creek Monster. I never personally saw the monster (read Bigfoot) but I discussed the sightings with a close friend that I trust and that lived near Fouke and had relatives there.

Bo Smith told me that at least two families in rural southwestern Arkansas saw the large humanoid on more than one occasion. Is it possible that at least one and perhaps a family of the creatures live in southwest Arkansas? The short answer is yes.

For those of you that have the pictures I published of Jeems Bayou, you already realize how much rough, swampy, hilly, unpopulated land lies within the three-state area known as the Ark-La-Tex. Could a wild animal hide forever in the woods of the Ark-La-Tex? Go into the forest and look for a deer in daylight, or a bobcat or coyote. It is unlikely that you will see one.

Have I personally seen a Bigfoot? No but I have I seen and heard strange things in the forests of the Ark-La-Tex more times than I can remember. Is there really a Boggy Creek Monster? Maybe not but spend the night camping in southwest Arkansas sometime and I think it will cause you to admit that at least the possibility exists.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Place Called Storyville

French Quarter private investigator Wyatt Thomas is the protagonist in my six-book French Quarter Mystery Series. In Book No. 1 Big Easy Wyatt is approached by a wealthy Mississippian who hires him to locate the grave of his mother. Wyatt is instantly smitten by his new client’s beautiful daughter. A voodoo killer is on the loose in the city and the search for the grave of his client’s mother little more than an interesting side story. It takes on another dimension when Wyatt learns his client’s mother was a Storyville prostitute who had had a long-term affair with a rich Creole businessman. If you want to know more about Storyville then keep reading.  If you want to find out if Wyatt solves the case of the voodoo killer, satisfies his clients wishes and how his affair with the daughter from Mississippi turns out, then read Big Easy and the other books in the French Quarter Mystery Series.

A Place Called Storyville

I realized there was something exciting and quite different about New Orleans the first time that I visited the city. Today, if you go south on Canal Street you will eventually end up at the Mississippi River. The City is in the process of rebuilding, but if you had followed Canal to the River before Hurricane Katrina you would have encountered many tourist attractions such as the Aquarium of the Americas, the World Trade Center and the Canal Street Wharf. Unlike today’s tourist-driven atmosphere you would have found something quite different had you taken the same journey in the 1950's.
I first visited New Orleans during the Eisenhower Era and remember standing on South Canal Street and staring down the hill toward the Mississippi River. New Orleans is a major international seaport and what I saw was a bunch of seedy bars that sailors from many countries frequented when they were in port. The bars were off-limits to American military personnel, and for good reason. They were dangerous, the women you met there "loose," and venereal diseases rampant.
"Those bars are a good place to get killed," my Aunt Carmol, an ex-marine during World War II and no shrinking violet herself, had told my brother and me. "Don’t ever go there."
The Canal Street bars were long gone before I ever had the opportunity to defy Aunt Carmol’s advice. Still, even as a youngster I felt the potential danger and lingering intrigue present around nearly every corner of New Orleans. One less dangerous but very intriguing place that was eventually cleaned up by the U.S. Navy was Storyville, the Big Easy’s early-day fantasy land that did as much to establish the City’s reputation as a latter-day Gomorrah as anything else in its history.
During the early days of New Orleans, there was a shortage of females. To alleviate this situation, street prostitutes were released from French prisons on the condition that they migrate to the new colony. In 1744, the number of bordellos and houses of prostitution prompted a French army officer to comment that there were not ten women of blameless character in New Orleans. City-wide prostitution continued until 1897 when a puritanical city official devised a plan to control the problem. The plan resulted in the formation of Storyville.
Locals called Storyville "The District." It existed from 1897 until 1917, the concept of New Orleans’ alderman Sidney Story. Story’s plan wasn’t to legalize prostitution, but to control it by defining the boundaries within which it would not be prosecuted as a crime. The concept worked for nearly two decades and ironically the District became one of the City’s leading tourist attractions.
Despite the belief of many - likely propagated by fictional accounts in literature - Storyville wasn’t located in the French Quarter. It encompassed an area north of the Quarter, just east of Canal Street between N. Rampart and N. Claiborne. Elaborate bordellos, fancy restaurants, and dance halls quickly appeared and flourished, on Basin, the street that became a legend because of its association with early jazz.
Jazz flourished in Storyville, although it didn’t originate there. Each bordello was a place for music as well as prostitution and each establishment generally had a piano player to entertain its guests. The bordellos often hired bands to perform, as did the restaurants and clubs that sprang up in the District. Jazz superstars such as Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong often performed there. Storyville was near a train station and many visitors to the City also frequented the bordellos and the clubs to listen to jazz. These visitors, as well as sailors of all nationalities, took this new sound back with them to their cities and countries of origin.
In 1917 the Secretary of the Navy was Josephus Daniels and his nickname "Tea Totaling" perfectly described his tolerance for sin. Daniels insisted that New Orleans either shut down Storyville or else he would close the naval base across the river in Algiers. The base provided too much income to New Orleans for the City fathers to see it close so they shut down Storyville instead.
A wave of Puritanism swept across the United States during the era of World War I and the residents of New Orleans weren’t exempt from this phenomena. Embarrassed by Storyville, city fathers began systematically dismantling the District. In the years following 1917, all the elaborate bordellos were demolished leaving only a metaphorical scar in place of nearly two decades of irreplaceable history. Even the street names were changed, world-famous Basin Street becoming North Saratoga.
Toward the end of World War II, city fathers made yet another planning blunder. Soldiers were returning home from war and needed a place to live, so the Iberville Housing Project was built on the site of Storyville. Never spoken about in travel brochures or in tourist information, the low-cost Iberville Housing Project quickly became dangerous and crime-ridden. Close to the French Quarter, the Project was a place to avoid at all costs instead of the tourist attraction that the District had once been.
Even with the dismantling of Storyville, prostitution never left New Orleans. It simply spread out across the city to places like the seedy bars frequented by sailors on south Canal. Unlike south Canal, transformed now into a tourist attraction rather than a city blight, the area around Storyville remains largely unknown and off-limits to tourists.
New Orleans’ city fathers made a colossal blunder when they demolished the historical District. They compounded their error when they covered up their mistake by building the infamous Iberville Project. Finally realizing their horrible error in judgment, they did return the name Basin to the famous street that was home of legendary jazz and fabulous bordellos.
New Orleans still exudes a well-deserved aura of danger and intrigue and there are still more than enough historical sights to see, even though one of the most famous is forever gone. Few vestiges of Storyville remain, yet like the tang of Tabasco Sauce on the tongue, its memory remains long after the last spicy bite of Etouffee has been consumed.


Born near Black Bayou in the little Louisiana town of Vivian, Eric Wilder grew up listening to his grandmother’s tales of politics, corruption, and ghosts that haunt the night. He now lives in Oklahoma where he continues to pen mysteries and short stories with a southern accent. He is the author of the French Quarter Mystery Series set in New Orleans and the Paranormal Cowboy Series. Please check it out on his AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iBook author pages. You might also like to check out his website.